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Crap I'm allergic to the cat

(18 Posts)
Aliennation Mon 10-Nov-14 13:50:50

Have been ill for months-sinusitis, nasty cough/breathlessness that won't go away. I literally spend half an hour coughing/blowing my nose every morning and it continues throughout the day.
GP was stumped, chest x-rays clear, antibiotics did nothing.

Anyway after some detective work I realised the cough started when we got our rescue cat 4 months ago. I also work with cats though hadn't done for some time until earlier this year.
Bloods have now confirmed my worst fear-I am allergic sad.

I don't know what to do, my little cat has only just really settled and ds adores her, then there's my job and I'm currently studying an animal behaviour degree as that's the area I want to work in.

Has anyone Any experience of this or advice as to what I can do?
I really don't want to rehome the cat but I am miserable, the sinusitis gives me permanent headaches.
I've looked into immunotherapy but it's success rates seem quite low.

FannyFifer Mon 10-Nov-14 13:53:29

Can you not just take antihistamine?

Aliennation Mon 10-Nov-14 14:03:28

I have been, it's not really helping. Am also on a steroid spray. Is is safe to take them every day long-term?

FannyFifer Mon 10-Nov-14 14:17:09

My friend is allergic to her cat & takes an antihistamine daily.
Maybe Dr could advise on dosage etc

FannyFifer Mon 10-Nov-14 14:18:29

Maybe a different antihistamine would work.

Pandora452 Mon 10-Nov-14 14:25:31

Do you have carpets? I'd be tempted to remove all carpets and replace with laminate and lino, throws on sofas that are washed weekly (or twice weekly) and restrict the cat's access to rooms - no bedrooms, not near laundry and see how that goes

Grinningcat Mon 10-Nov-14 14:29:31

I developed an allergy to cats about 5 years back, but I don't think it's as bad as yours sounds. I already had my cat for a year and a half and there was no way I was giving her up. I already had hayfever every summer and took antihistamines for that, but for my cat allergy I needed an inhaler for asthma as well. Maybe you need an inhaler? That is what makes a difference to me and I only need to take a puff a couple of times a day while I'm home. I have found that since I'm now pregnant and can't take my antihistamines at all that they weren't making any difference from a cat allergy point of view anyway.

You can grow out of allergies, but it takes about 10 years or so. I used to be very badly allergic to daffodils as a child and teenager, but suddenly when I teurned 18 it disappeared. I'm hoping my cat allergy wil go the same way in 5 years time!

Goldmandra Mon 10-Nov-14 14:43:39

Restrict the areas of the house the cat has access to and keep those areas very clean. Try not to touch her and, if you do, wash your hands immediately so you don't transfer it to your face.

Use a vacuum cleaner with a Hepa filter.

Ask your GP for stronger anti-histamines and use a nasal spray too. I have found that if I can get a reaction under control for a couple of weeks everything calms down and becomes a little less sensitive. I have taken Ucerax for short periods because, although it knocks me flat, it is the antihistamine that works best for me. Once it has done it's job and inflammation has died down for a while, I can keep things under control for a while with other, less sedating antihistamines.

Aliennation Mon 10-Nov-14 16:44:29

Thanks for all your advice. Sorry posted in my lunch break so couldn't respond!
I'm going to speak to my GP about different antihistamines and possibly an inhaler.
I'm pretty fanatical about cleaning/hovering etc and will look into those filters.
She's not going to be a happy cat tonight, will have to banish her from the bedroom. She likes nothing more than rubbing herself all over me, it's going to be hard not to pet her sad.

Goldmandra Mon 10-Nov-14 19:29:33

it's going to be hard not to pet her

It's horrible. I adore cats and find it very hard to resist fussing them and letting them on my lap.

Shadow1986 Mon 10-Nov-14 19:32:09

I too am allergic to cats. We had a cat turn up and never leave, we found out who she belonged to and they said we could keep her so we did. It took a while but I got used to her and my allergies died down completely. Just hang in there. It should ease off. Do the obvious things like don't let cat on bed etc. Good luck.

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 10-Nov-14 20:00:53

I had an allergic reaction to one of our cats years ago.
We bought an air filter machine for the bedroom and used to run it for several hours everyday and that seemed to make a big difference.
Over time my allergies to him completely disappeared.

Aliennation Mon 10-Nov-14 20:11:06

That's reassuring to know the allergic symptoms can die down.
Am failing miserably at not petting her though, she jumps up and swipes me when she wants a pet and if I'm studying she climbs up and bats me on the shoulder, she's very affectionate. I'd feel cruel ignoring her.
Came in from work and stripped my bed hoovered etc. She's not going to be happy tonight, she usually sleeps right next to me.
Last time I shut her downstairs she howled sad
I hate this, I love cats and can't cuddle them anymore.

sashh Tue 11-Nov-14 07:04:12

As you work with cats you should be able to be desensitised. I only know this because the vet I used to use before moving had done it as obviously vets meet a lot of cats.

www.allergyuk.org/the-management-of-allergy/immunotherapy

LastingLight Tue 11-Nov-14 07:35:46

DH was allergic to his cats and gradually got used to them. One of them still sets him off now and again but not nearly as bad as they used to. Then we moved in together and he had a bad reaction to my cat, but in time that got better too.

MsMcWoodle Tue 11-Nov-14 15:52:46

My dh is also allergic, but got used to it.

abigamarone Thu 13-Nov-14 12:49:49

How old is your cat? I reacted to ours quite badly when we first got them after previously having cats for several years. It's died down as they've got older, but whether it's their age or me developing resistance I don't know. I did keep them in the back of the house and combed them regularly to try to keep it at bay a bit. My eldest son still reacts but he's prepared to suffer (have gone for laminate in his room to minimise it a bit too)

PolterGoose Thu 13-Nov-14 20:53:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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